Beat The Beast Challenge

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee

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Andrew And Debbie From Trinity, Edinburgh
Andrew And Debbie From Trinity, Edinburgh

The Irish Author, Marguerite Gardiner, once said, “Happiness consists not in having much, but in being content with little.” Today I walked 6.93 miles, in a round trip, ascending 527 feet to do the food shop in Tesco. I volunteer to do the shop occasionally as it is excellent brain training and gives Allie a break to concentrate on her work. Following Allie’s advice to hit the new quieter time in Tescos I settled down to answer some emails after breakfast, before heading off 45 minutes later, a little fuzzy in the head but certain that the walk would do me good. In order to ensure I achieved a lymph system pumping, sustained twenty minutes of brisk walking before even thinking of stopping to collect a smile I set my watch and set off. As I walked on this grey overcast and chilly morning, it was as if I was walking along with a clown’s hat and face on, as nearly everybody that passed me was giving me the most wonderful smiles. I could not work out why, and was so tempted to start capturing them, but knew that it would exhaust me before even starting the shop which is an incredibly exhausting experience for the brain in itself. So, in order to avoid having to call Allie for help halfway through the shop, I just smiled back and kept walking. Twenty minutes later and my watch beeped at me. I was now on the old railway line and walking along the pathway soaking up the atmosphere. The sights and sounds of birds chirping and flitting and flighting around the trees. A small flock of long tailed tits flitted along the hedgerow to my right for a while making me stop to enjoy them for a moment. I couldn’t help but smile. Shortly after the long-tailed tits departed, I came across the wonderful smiles of Andrew and Debbie from Trinity in Edinburgh. They were a delight to talk to as I gave them my story and asked them to sponsor me after capturing their smiles. Despite me struggling at times just to find the words I needed and then to shape my mouth around the words in the delivery, they listened patiently, with empathy, and then we departed on our own way. I tucked my phone away and concentrated on the task in hand, the food shop. I managed the shop with little issue and only the need for assistance from a member of staff the once. Once outside again I loaded the rucksack, now with roughly 40 pounds of weight in it, onto my back, and set off for home along the cycle path. With my watch again set for another 20 minute brisk walk before even thinking of capturing another smile, I again relaxed and enjoyed the walk. 20 minutes later the watch bleeped at me but now I was in Newhaven and there were no smiles. I found two but received two refusals and carried on. I was so very nearly at home when I came across Ian and Fiona. I had to have their smiles too and managed to give them my story with only slight word problems before capturing their smile. I walked home happy. I don’t have much in terms of treasure and while I have significant neurological and cognitive weaknesses, I am learning to balance my day to manage them. I have two wonderful children; a wonderful wife and I have life. I would be lying if I was to say I didn’t have challenging days or want to get stronger, I absolutely do, and while I have my challenges, I am so very thankful and content for all that I do have.

Ian And Fiona From Newhaven, Edinburgh
Ian And Fiona From Newhaven, Edinburgh

Hopefully these smiles will bring a little light into your life. Please help me to spread a little light into the lives of those that struggle by sending me a photo of your smile that I can publish, with the other 181 smiles so far collected, on the smileometer on my website, and via the Challenge social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Emailing it to me would be best on or message it to me on Messenger or Instagram.

Furthermore I continue to look for sponsorship. There are 64 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can attract just 1% of these account holders to sponsor me with just £1 per month I can raise £640,000 per month to help save and rebuild lives of the world’s poorest through the Disasters Emergency Committee. At the moment, with just 57 sponsors, I have only managed to reach 0.008% of my target. So if you do not yet sponsor me, please give me 10 minutes of your time to fill out a standing order to challenge me to keep fighting. Every penny raised goes to the Disasters Emergency Committee to bring light to those whose entire lives have been destroyed by the double whammy of COVID-19 and disaster.

Every penny raised encourages me to keep fighting to prevent my brain tumour from returning as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain, using the mediums of Golf, Music, Navigating over the Hills, Drama, Dance, Juggling, Litter Picking and Writing, with becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to one day be able to sustain myself in some form of future employment being may main effort.

Thank you, Keep safe, keep being brilliant.

Keep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude,
Archie xx